Crash106 Posted October 4, 2011 Report Share Posted October 4, 2011 I recently put up a poll to ask how people used their bodies when steering on the street (yes, I KNOW the primary steering input comes from the bars). What surprised me was that the largest vote was for gripping the tank with the knees. Who knew? My primary Body English techniques have always been leaning the upper body into the turn and leaning forward a bit. I've been riding since before Soichiro Honda was born (well almost) and I have NEVER gripped the tank. Why would I? I'm not planning to hang off. There is no way I'm touching a knee down in jeans. I'm not racing in the streets or even speeding. Nobody ever taught me that I SHOULD or even COULD grip the tank with my legs. So, when I read about this in "Twist 2," it went in one ear and out the other. But when I saw so many of you saying that gripping the tank when braking or cornering was your top pick, well, I had to try it. Now, I just don't even know what to think. With even a little grip on the tank, I feel much more confident and connected to the bike. My hands are not gripping as much and so they don't get tired as fast or cramp up and stop working. The same lean angle feels less risky or dangerous--I guess because I don't feel like I'm going to fall off the bike--not that I consciously felt that way before, mind you, but there it is. And steering--completely different! With both hands and arms relaxed, my giant Gold Wing is completely transformed. With both arms relaxed, this thing steers so fast that it is literally scary. I have to be very careful and gentle approaching my turn points or the bike will just fling itself off the road! I thought using my legs would be very tiring, but not so much. Mostly, I'm just touching the tank. Only for heavy breaking, big winds or hard braking will I try to actually grip the tank. Most of the time, I'm just riding normally. But when I get into a twisty bit or see a stop coming up, I'll squeeze a little harder. Sometimes I'll get my toes on the pegs AND squeeze because I get better leverage that way. If this technique makes my Wing flick around like a dirt bike, I'm not sure I'll be ABLE to ride the BMW superbikes at the school--I might blink or sneeze and ride right off the track! So, is this just news to me? Have you guys been riding this way for ages? Is it normal for the bike to feel sooo different once you clamp onto the tank? Can you really get away with such light steering at higher speeds? Sorry to be such a rube, but thanks to all of you for your input. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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